Rated 2.0

Based on a true story, this surprisingly languid drama about the purity of a Massachusetts murder conviction is smothered by a Dragnet-esque focus on supplying “just the facts, ma’am.” After a man with a troubled past (Sam Rockwell) is sentenced to life in prison for a homicide committed with extreme atrocity, his barmaid sister (Hilary Swank) earns her GED and eventually a law degree so she can exonerate him. The layers of the case are peeled back with assistance from the Innocence Project (which the closing credits say has helped overturn 254 cases), but the process and revelations here generate only mild emotional impact. The acting is solid, with support from Minnie Driver, Oscar winner Melissa Leo and Juliette Lewis. Too bad the rich content, with its double-edged title and inherent social minefields, is not translated into knockout cinema.